2006-01-27 / Sports

Teamwork Sparks Bishop Kearney Season

By Elio Velez

Cathy Crockett (left) and Jill Brady (right) talk about their season at the offices of the Wave.
Cathy Crockett (left) and Jill Brady (right) talk about their season at the offices of the Wave. Teamwork may be the most stressed word spoken by coaches in any sport. It is the most important and crucial step needed to make a team a winner.

As a high school senior, guard Jill Brady has heard that word used in her four years on the Bishop Kearney basketball team. It’s been stressed time and time again from her head coach Cathy Crockett that it’s needed to win ballgames.

Brady has since accepted that word as a part of her lexicon as well as intensity and being competitive on the floor. It’s working this season, especially after Kearney won a big game over their divisional rival Archbishop Molloy 58-52 last Friday. The word team is synonymous with Kearney, especially on the offensive end where once again four players wound up in double figures.

Brady had 12 points but she was joined by Caitlin Irwin with 13, Maria Laterza with 12 and sophomore Michelle Kenel, another Rockaway native, with 11 points. Lisa Abitante and Diana Canzioneri have contributed this year as well.

They found a way to contain Molloy’s outside shooting, holding them to only two three pointers after nailing 18 in their previous game. Defense has been the motto this year for Kearney, who improved their record to 11-3.

“It’s about patience. We’re getting better in communicating on defense and everybody is helping a lot,” Brady said. Kearney had the game circled on their calendar. The rivalry has been close throughout the years but Molloy, who won 61-57 earlier this month, has found a way to get the victory. Crockett says their effort matched up physically and mentally.

“I felt that the first time we faced them we had a better team and to be honest, we have a good all around team but mentally, it affects them. This time, we found a way to do both and win,” Crockett said.

It was the first time in Brady’s four year career that her team finally broke the curse and defeated Molloy. Last season, the Tigers made the playoffs but lost in the semifinals of the CHSAA tournament. “I’m definitely happy we beat them. If we see them again, we know we’re confident of beating them,” Brady said. “I felt in the beginning of the year, with the team we had, it is one of the best I’ve played with in four years. It’s not just me who’s doing this, everybody is doing this.”

Brady may be quiet at times but she can be a forceful leader on the court and her confidence is key to sparking the rest of the team according to head coach Cathy Crockett. “She works hard and I feel the others respect that. They feed off that, especially the young ones. If she shows confidence, then I feel confidence,” Crockett says.

It’s the relationship between Crockett and Brady that has grown in their four years together. It hasn’t been easy at times but the growing pains have ceased. That’s been the case with most players that have passed through Crockett’s program in her 19 years at the helm. The bonding has occurred even after the players have left the school. The results will hopefully pay off in a Glens Falls appearance.

“I want her to get there because she’s a good player for me and she’s earned it,” Crockett says. “She’s a consistent player. We butted heads at times but we’ve grown. There are days when I rely on her and at times she didn’t understand it and now she does. We’re in position now that we can get to the next level. I feel like we can get there. It’s not going to be easy but we can. We need to be on the same page.”

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